Refresh tabs automatically in Firefox and Chrome with Tab Reloader

Waiting for an online sale or video stream to start, or an auction to end, but don’t want to be constantly refreshing the tab? You can use a Firefox and Chrome extension called Tab Reloader to refresh the tab automatically.

Refresh tabs automatically in Firefox and Chrome with Tab Reloader extension

While YouTube lets you set a reminder (when you’re logged in) for upcoming videos, not a lot of sites offer the option. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen a shopping site that has such a feature.

The extension’s name is Tab Reloader (page auto refresh). Very catchy! Install the add-on and you’ll see it’s icon on the toolbar. Click it to view a pop-up window; it has a few toggles. These settings are tab specific and can be used to enable the Reloader for the selected tab and set the time interval.

How to set a tab to reload – Method 1 (toolbar icon)

The first step is to set the time after which you want the tab to reload. You can choose the time from as low as ten seconds and up to several days. There are no limits to the number of tabs that you can set to reload. Click the “Enable Reloader for this tab” option to set the timer.

Tab Reloader timer set

When you set the reloading job, the timer settings become grayed out. The tab will automatically reload when the timer reaches 0.

By default, the active tab will also reload (if you had set a timer for the tab), but you can toggle a setting that disables the current tab from reloading. The number of active reload jobs, and the list of tabs on which they are active are displayed at the bottom of the pop-up window.

If you don’t want the page to load its latest content from the server, enable the “Use cache while reloading” option to load a locally cached version. The other options can be used to bypass form submission, or to scroll to the end of the page after it has been reloaded. You may run a custom JavaScript code after each reload, for e.g. to play a sound or to change the reload setting.

Tab Reloader’s icon displays a badge counter which indicates the number of tabs that are currently set to auto refresh.  Right-click this icon to view a menu that allows you to reload all tabs/tabs in the current window, stop all active reloading jobs or restore old reloading jobs.

Tab Reloader toolbar icon menu

Method 2 –  Tab bar right-click menu (Firefox only)

This method is much easier than the pop-up window, and there is the added bonus of not having to switch tabs while using this menu. Right-click on a tab to view the Tab Reloader (page auto refresh) menu. This allows you set the auto refresh interval quickly. You can set the tab to reload every 10 or 30 seconds, 1 or 5 or 15 minutes or every hour. There are shortcuts to reload the tab manually, reload all tabs or all tabs in the current window. To cancel the task, select don’t reload.

Tab Reloader tab bar right click menu

 

When you close a tab, the reloader settings for it are discarded as well.  That’s quite simple to use, isn’t it?

Head to the add-on page to manage Tab Reloader’s options. You can disable the badge icon, enable the add-on to restore the reloading jobs when you restart the browser. You can backup the add-ons settings and import it from the options page.

Tab Reloader add-on options

Tab Reloader is open source.  It’s available on the Firefox AMO and Chrome’s Web Store, and has been featured in Mozilla’s Recommended Extensions program. Check out our guide on reloading tabs automatically in browsers for additional tips.

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View all your tabs in one place, search, move them between windows with Tab Manager Plus for Firefox and Chrome

There are plenty of add-ons that make tab management easier in Firefox. Tab Session Manager, Foxy Tab, Tree Style Tab are some good options that come to mind.

View all your tabs in one place, search, move them between windows with Tab Manager Plus for Firefox and Chrome

Tab Manager Plus is an extension for Firefox and Chrome that lets you view all your tabs in one place, search in open tabs and move them between windows.

The add-on places an icon on the browser’s toolbar; it displays a badge that indicates the total number of tabs that are open at the time. Click the icon to view the add-on’s interface. This pop-up window contains favicons of every tab that is opened. Mouse over a favicon to view the tab’s title and URL.

Tab Manager Plus change title

Tab Manager Plus assigns a title to the window that is based on the number of tabs you have opened per site. For.e.g If you had 6 or 7 gHacks tabs open or 8-9 of GitHub, it will use gHacks and GitHub.

Mouse over the title and click on it to customize it if you prefer a different one. You may change the background color of the window from this screen as well and click on a favicon to switch to the tab instantly. There are four buttons below the tab icons for closing the window, minimizing it, setting the window color and title, and opening a new tab.

If you want to jump to a specific tab, but aren’t sure where it is, use the search box at the bottom of Tab Manager Plus’interface. It works on an as-you-type basis in real time, and highlights the tabs which match the search term. For e.g. If I type “ghacks”, the extension highlights the tabs which have the word in the url or title.

tab manager plus search demo

Right-click on a tab’s icon to select it, you can select multiple. Press enter to move tabs to a new window, or drag the icons from one window’s pane to another.

tab manager plus move tabs

The toolbar at the bottom of the add-on’s interface can be used to highlight duplicate tabs, open a new window, filter tabs that don’t match your search, or to pin the current tab. The other two options are handy for managing tabs that you have selected, they can either be discarded from the memory or closed.

Click the three-line menu button to change the view. The default view is the horizontal view, and the others are vertical view, block view and big block view. Right-click on the Tab Manager Plus icon to view a context menu. This allows you to open the add-on’s interface in its own tab which can be useful if you’re using the vertical or big block view modes.

Tab Manager Plus horizontal view
Tab Manager Plus vertical view
Tab Manager Plus block view
Tab Manager Plus big block view

The wrench icon in the top right corner opens the extension’s Options panel. You can set the maximum number of tabs per window (for e.g. 15), once it reaches the limit, new tabs will be opened in a new window. The pop-up interface’s size can be customized in terms of height and width. Not a fan of bright colors? Enable dark mode. Compact mode trims the spaces between each icon.

Tab Manager Plus dark mode

Tab Manager Plus supports some mouse and keyboard shortcuts. As mentioned earlier, right-click selects tabs, holding shift while right-clicking selects multiple tabs. Close tabs using the middle mouse button. Pressing the enter key opens a selected tab, or moves multiple tabs to a new window. You can toggle animations, window titles, and the tab counter from the add-on’s options page.

The extension has a couple of experimental features for session management. But I couldn’t get these to work in Firefox or Chrome.

Tab Manager Plus is an open source extension. This reddit post explains the origin of Tab Manager Plus. Apparently, the developer was using a similar Chrome extension which was eventually sold and then went bad. So he forked the original add-on (before it went rogue), improved it and later ported it to Firefox.

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Download images easily with the Double-click Image Downloader extension for Chrome and Firefox

Occasionally you may run into some websites don’t allow you to download images from their servers. It may be a precautionary measure to prevent others from re-using the pictures, or as part of the backend code, or even caused by a gallery plugin.

Download images easily with the Double-click Image Downloader extension for Chrome and Firefox

Whatever the reason maybe, if you want a way to download images or bypass restrictions, Double-click Image Downloader offers a simple solution. And yes, it works on Facebook photos too.

Install the add-on and double-click on an image on any web page to download it. A pop-up notification appears near the bottom right corner indicating that the picture has been downloaded. The downloaded image is saved to your browser’s default downloads folder and the original format (JPG, PNG, GIF, etc), resolution and file name are preserved. You can right-click on an image and use the browser’s context menu and select the “Download Image” option that was added by the add-on.

Double-click Image Downloader extension for Chrome

Double-click Image Downloader options

The add-on’s options page has many settings that can be used for changing the download behavior and trigger.  You may toggle the download complete notification from this page. Notice how the image sort of greys out for a split second when it is being downloaded? This effect can be disabled from the options.

The extension lets you assign a hotkey that can be used to download images when you hover over it. You can use a combination of Alt/Ctrl/Shift + any character of your choice. For e.g. alt + shift + d.

Double-click Image Downloader hover button

Blacklist domains that you want to ignore (never download from) and Whitelist websites directly from the extension’s options. Unsure if the double click worked? Enable the Hover button from the add-on’s options. When it is enabled, an icon appears when you mouse over images, click it to download the picture. The position of the hover button can be customized, as can the opacity and the size of the button.

Double-click Image Downloader hover button position

Personally, I prefer this method, as it allows you to download images that are linked to pages, so you aren’t taken to the web page when you double-click (or single click). For e.g. try clicking the images on our homepage. You can drag and drop images over the button to download them.

Double-click Image Downloader extension Firefox

Rename Files

Firefox doesn’t support renaming of downloaded files. So, this is a Chrome-exclusive feature. You can set it to use a counter, the domain name, folder path of the page or image source, or the page title.

Double-click Image Downloader options chrome

The “Save As” dialog is not supported by Firerox either. The browser however supports other filename conflicts such as overwriting file (which is not recommended) or automatically adding a numeric suffix. For e.g. image.jpg, image(1).jpg, image(2).jpg.

Prefer a single-click for downloading images? Want to use the right mouse button instead? Scroll to the end of the options to change the mouse button’s download trigger. You can choose from: single click or double click, for the left or right mouse buttons and also set a delay for it in microseconds.

Note: You’ll need to refresh the page for some settings to take effect.

Double-click Image Downloader makes it easy to download several images quickly.  You can get the Firefox extension from AMO or the Chrome extension from the web store. The extension is an open source project.

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Smart RSS Reader is a feed reader extension for Firefox and Chrome

Web based feed readers are kind of a pain to use. They often implement changes that you don’t want, while taking away features that you like.  Local readers are much better when it comes to this, because you can revert to an older version in case of adverse changes.

SmartRSS extension for Firefox

Smart RSS Reader is a feed reader extension for Firefox and Chrome that I have been using for a week; I’m quite impressed by it so far.

Install the add-on and click its toolbar icon to open a new tab with the extension’s RSS reader. It has three panes, each of which has a toolbar at the top. The left pane is the feeds pane and lists all RSS feeds that you’re subscribed too. Selecting a feed displays the title of the articles published by the site in the center pane. It also displays the author’s name and the date when the article went live.

Click on an article’s title to open it in the browser view, aka the right pane. Smart RSS Reader displays the article in its native format (i.e. no misaligned text or items) and it contains the images included in the post too. Use the Pin icon in the top right corner of an article’s page to favorite it.

Smart RSS Reader supports offline article reading which is useful when you’re away from an internet connection. The extension’s toolbar icon flashes a badge when a new article has been published, so you won’t miss out on reading your favorite sites.

Smart RSS Reader badge

Adding RSS Feeds

The toolbar on the top of the Feeds pane has a plus button. Clicking it brings up a box where you can enter an RSS Feed’s URL. For e.g. http://www.ghacks.net/feed/

Smart RSS Reader adding a feed

The extension automatically picks-up the name of the website, its favicon and you’ll immediately see the list of articles available for reading. Another way to add a feed is by right-clicking on the extension’s toolbar icon. This context menu is useful for subscribing to the RSS feed of the website that you’re currently on. This doesn’t work for every site though, it needs to have an RSS or XML feed available which the add-on pulls automatically.

SmartRSS extension for Firefox - subscribe context menu

If you’re subscribed to a lot of feeds already, don’t worry you don’t need to waste time re-adding each of those to Smart RSS Reader. Click on the wrench icon in the top right corner to go to the options page, scroll down to the Import section and select the OPML > browse button to pick your OPML file.

Smart RSS Reader import OPML

The feeds are imported instantly, and the add-on preserves the folders that you have set in your previous RSS reader.

Smart RSS Reader imported feeds

Managing Feeds

Right-click on the “All feeds” option to view a context menu which allows you to “Update all, Mark all read, and Delete all articles”.

Smart RSS Reader manage all feeds

Select a Feed and right-click on it, click on Properties to change the URL, name etc.

Smart RSS Reader managing site feed

Use the “New Folder” option in the Feeds pane’s toolbar to create a new folder, and move RSS feeds into it. This can help you organize things. Each feed has its own context menu that has options to update the list of articles, mark all as read, delete (unsubscribe), refetch (redownload), Openhome (opens the feed’s website).

Smart RSS Reader managing feeds

The feeds list pane has yet another context menu. This one can be used to jump  to the next unread, previous unread articles, or to mark articles as unread, mark and next/previous as unread, unpin articles, and to open the article in a new tab. The toolbar at the top of this pane has three icons: mark all read, update, delete. The Search box is handy to search for a particular article in your feeds.

Smart RSS Reader feed options

Smart RSS Reader options

The extension has a bunch of options including a 2-pane view, sorting options, article font size, reader behavior, export feeds to OPML or SMART (text document), etc. Smart RSS Reader has many keyboard shortcuts that you can use to read and manage your feeds.

Smart RSS Reader options
Smart RSS Reader options 2

Get the Firefox extension from the add-ons repository, and the Chrome version from the webstore. According to the developer, the extension is a fork of an add-on made by Martin Kadlec, which was made as an alternative to the built-in RSS reader in Opera 12. Smart RSS Reader is an open source extension.

The fact that you don’t need an online account to manage your feeds, and that everything is stored locally is really nice. Add-ons like this and Feedbro are the closest alternative for desktop readers, though I do use QuiteRSS myself. Smart RSS Reader is very fast and fluid.

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Humble New Tab Page is an elegant new tab replacement extension for Firefox and Chrome

There are many new tab replacements available for Firefox and Chrome. One of my favorites is Group Speed Dial.

Humble New Tab Page default

But if what you want is something simpler and elegant, Humble New Tab Page is a very good choice to go with.

HNTP as its abbreviated requires permissions to read and modify bookmarks, access recently closed tabs, browser tabs and the browsing history. You will see why it needs these in a minute.

Once you install the add-on, it takes over the new tab page. The design is quite simplistic, with a plain background and two columns of folders displayed on the page. The left column contains the following: Bookmarks Menu, Bookmarks Toolbar, Other Bookmarks, Mobile Bookmarks.

And these are the ones on the right column: Most Visited, Recent Bookmarks, Recently Closed. The add-on pulls the information from your browser’s Bookmarks Manager, that’s why it needs those permissions. Those folders open their namesakes, i.e., the “Most Visited”  section displays your most frequented sites, the “Recently Closed” folder has tabs that you closed recently and so on.

Select a folder to expand it and list its contents; this displays all bookmarks in the folder including sub-folders, the title of bookmarks and the favicon of the websites. You cannot manage your bookmarks directly from the Humble New Tab Page, you’ll have to use the browsers’ tools for deleting, creating new links and folders, etc.

Right-clicking on a folder allows you to open all links in a folder, create a new column or move the folder up/down or right/left. You can drag and drop folders to create a new column too. Creating a new column doesn’t add a new folder, instead it expands a folder permanently. This is not a bug. If a column contains a single folder, it will expand the links in it.

However, if you add one more folder to the column, they will appear as normal directories. Let me show you an example. I want to move the Games folder to a new column.

HNTP example

Humble New Tab Page will expand it like this, it does look a bit cluttered, doesn’t it?

HNTP example 2

Moving a second folder to the new column fixes the problem.

HNTP example 3

The appearance of Humble New Tab Page is fully customizable. Use the wrench icon in the top right corner to go to the Options page.

Humble New Tab Page is an elegant new tab replacement extension for Firefox and Chrome

There are four tabs on this side-panel: Settings, Appearance, Import/Export/Advanced.

Settings

This tab has options to set the tab behavior: open in current tab, new tab and new tab background. You may choose where the extension gets the website icons from, using the favicons from a site or from search engines. Don’t want a particular folder to be displayed in new tabs? For e.g., the Most Visited folder. The Content section can be used to disable the default folders which I mentioned earlier. This panel is kind of like a soft-reset for the default folders, so in case you mess something up with those, you can uncheck the corresponding option and enable it again to “reset” them.

Appearance

This panel allows you to change the font type, size, colors of the text, background, highlight, highlight text, shadow. There are a few themes available that you may use; these are basically presets and some of those shades are the ones you see in the screenshots on the add-on’s official page.

Humble New Tab Page themes

The extension uses hex color codes for text and background. If you’re on Windows 10, open the Settings app and search for Font Settings. Get the name from it, and enter it in the “Font” field of HNTP’s options. Of course, you’ll need to download and install your favorite fonts to use them.

You may select an online image or a local one and use it too. So, you can transform the new tab page to look like anything you want like your favorite music album cover, movie poster, game art, brand logos, etc. Here are some examples. I customized it to look like Star Wars and Yakuza 0.

Humble New Tab Page star wars theme
Humble New Tab Page yakuza 0 style

You don’t have to use images, plain backgrounds look fine too.

Humble New Tab Page star wars style

Import/Export

Humble New Tab Page import and export

This tab lets you copy your settings which is the export option. To import previously saved one, just paste the code in the box. Since the add-on does not support Firefox sync, this is the only way to preserve your settings across installations.

Advanced

Humble New Tab Page advanced

There are two panes in this tab, generated CSS and Custom CSS. Observe the first one and you will see that it has your current settings. That’s because the whole concept of the extension is dependent on CSS code to replace to the new tab. Essentially, the settings serves as a GUI and all its options are there to generate the code.

Humble New Tab Page is an open source extension.

Closing Words

The only real problem with the add-on is the lack of a reset or undo option. I had to remove and re-install it many times while testing the create columns feature. That and the fact that you can’t edit bookmarks directly are the real issues.

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